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Where Do I Find My Audiobook Narrator?

Updated: Jan 28

Transforming your written masterpiece into an engaging audiobook is an exciting journey. But just like any voyage, the first step is often the hardest: where do you begin your search for the perfect voice to bring your story to life?

Choosing an audiobook narrator who can truly encapsulate the essence of your book is no small feat. It requires understanding not only where to look but also knowing how to discern the voices that will do your story justice from those that may fall flat.

In the world of audiobooks, the narrator is the conduit, connecting your words to the hearts and minds of your listeners. In fact, in most cases, the success of your book in an audio format will rest squarely on the shoulders of your narrator (no pressure!).

But fret not. I’m here today to guide you through the process of finding the voice that will breathe life into your book and do your story justice.

Where To Find Audiobook Narrators

Finding the right narrator for your audiobook involves knowing where to look. A host of resources are available, offering a range of voice talents that could potentially bring your story to life. Let's explore some of these avenues to find that perfect voice.

Audiobook Narration Agencies

Professional audiobook narration agencies can be a reliable starting point. These agencies represent experienced and skilled narrators, often with an impressive portfolio of work. They offer a high level of professionalism and quality, but this option can be pricier than others.

Freelance Marketplaces

Freelance platforms like Fiverr and Upwork can be a goldmine of diverse talent. You can find narrators with varying experience levels, styles, and rates. These platforms allow you to review portfolios, sample audio files, and even request custom auditions. The flexibility and competitive pricing make freelance marketplaces an attractive option for many authors.

Voiceover Platforms

Specialised voiceover platforms are dedicated spaces for voice talents. Websites such as Voices or Voice123 host a vast array of narrators, including those experienced in audiobook narration. These platforms offer a streamlined process, making finding, auditioning, and hiring the right voice talent easier.

Social Media Networking

Networking on social media platforms, especially LinkedIn, can yield surprising results. A well-placed post may bring referrals from friends or colleagues, helping you discover hidden gems. Remember, the power of personal recommendations can sometimes unveil the best talent.

Local Talent and Acting Schools

If you're thinking outside the box, consider reaching out to local acting schools or theatres. While this is a less conventional route, you might find actors interested in voice work. Keep in mind, though, acting and voiceover are distinct skills. Hiring someone without voiceover experience can be a bit of a gamble.

Searching Online for Narrator Websites

Don't underestimate the power of a good old-fashioned internet search. Many experienced audiobook narrators (like me!) have personal websites showcasing their work. You can listen to their voice samples, view their portfolio, and often contact them directly for work inquiries.

Additionally, you can read testimonials from previous clients to gauge their professionalism and reliability. Just remember to ensure they have experience in audiobook narration, as it requires a unique set of skills compared to other voiceover work.

What Questions Should I Be Asking Prospective Audiobook Narrators?

Finding potential narrators is just the beginning. It's equally important to ask the right questions to ensure they're a good fit for your project. Below are some crucial questions you should consider:

  1. What is your experience with audiobook narration? It's essential to understand their experience level, especially in your genre.

  2. Can I listen to some of your previous work? Samples can give you a good feel for their style and versatility.

  3. What is your rate? Knowing their fee upfront helps avoid any surprises down the line.

  4. How long will it take to narrate my book? This gives you an idea of their availability and how they manage their time.

  5. Can you perform different voices/accents? Depending on your book's characters, this could be a vital aspect.

  6. How do you handle revisions or changes in the script? Their process for revisions can tell you a lot about their professionalism and flexibility.

  7. What format will the final recording be in? This ensures the final product will meet your technical needs.

  8. Do you have a suitable place to record? High-quality recordings require a quiet, echo-free environment and professional-grade equipment.

Asking these questions will provide you with valuable insights into the narrator's abilities, work ethic, and whether they would be a good match for your audiobook project.

What Will My Audiobook Narrator Need from Me?

Ensuring a smooth working relationship with your audiobook narrator begins with providing them with everything they need to excel at their job. It's about clear and concise communication of your vision for the narration.

To start, provide your narrator with a complete and final version of your manuscript. This will allow them to become familiar with your work's content, flow, and overall tone. Highlight any unique names or terminology they might encounter, and explain the correct pronunciations if needed.

Share a detailed character breakdown if your book is character-driven. This can include the characters' ages, backgrounds, personalities, and any other pertinent details. It will guide your narrator in giving each character a distinct voice and persona.

You'll also want to convey the overall mood and style of the narration. If your book is light-hearted and humorous, your narrator must reflect that in their delivery. Conversely, if it's a serious, suspenseful thriller, the narration should carry that tension.

Finally, always be open to discussions and ready to answer any queries your narrator may have. Remember, your narrator wants to bring your story to life just as much as you do, and your guidance is invaluable in that process.

How Long Does a Narrator Need to Complete the Audiobook?

The time it takes to complete an audiobook narration can vary greatly and is influenced by several factors. These include the length of your book, the complexity of the content, the narrator's schedule, and their working pace.

For instance, a shorter novella might take a week or two, while a lengthy novel could require a couple of months. Complex characters, accents, or technical terminology may also require extra preparation time.

It's also essential to factor in time for revisions and corrections. Even the most experienced narrators might need to re-record certain parts to get them just right.

To get a more precise timeline, it's best to discuss this with your narrator once they've had a chance to review your manuscript. They can give you an estimated completion date based on their familiarity with the work and their professional experience.

Remember, good narration takes time, and rushing could compromise the quality of your audiobook.

Can I Check How it's Going? Or Do I Just Get to Hear the Final Product?

When hiring a professional audiobook narrator, you're not left in the dark until the final product is delivered. In fact, maintaining an open line of communication throughout the process is essential for a successful outcome.

Most narrators will provide you with a short section of the initial recording, known as a "first 15 minutes" sample. This allows you to hear their interpretation of your work and provide feedback before proceeding with the whole book. You can suggest changes, correct pronunciations, and make sure the tone and style match your vision.

Throughout the process, your narrator should keep you updated on their progress, and you're within your rights to ask for updates or samples. Regular check-ins help catch any issues early, making revisions less time-consuming and ensuring the final product meets your expectations.

Remember, your involvement doesn't impede the narrator's work; it enhances it. Collaborative relationships often produce the best audiobooks.

Making a Decision on Your Audiobook Narration Solution

After taking in all the considerations about finding and working with an audiobook narrator, you may feel there's a lot to digest. Indeed, it's an important choice that can genuinely make or break your audiobook's success.

Remember, the right narrator is the one who can bring your words to life, delivering an engaging performance that resonates with your audience. They can adapt their style and tone to match the unique essence of your story, making the characters and narrative come alive.

Having worked extensively in audiobook narration, with a playing age from 18 to 50 and a range of styles from smooth and sophisticated to upbeat and fun, I am equipped to handle a diverse array of audiobook projects. My natural and conversational tone ensures clarity and understanding, while my ability to be versatile allows me to tailor my voice to suit your book’s specific needs.

Whether you're still in the research phase or ready to make a decision, I invite you to get in touch with me. I'm always open to discussing potential projects, answering any questions, and providing guidance where needed.

Embarking on the journey of turning your written words into a rich auditory experience can be exciting and rewarding. So why not allow me to be part of that journey, bringing my expertise and passion for narration to your work?

I look forward to reading your manuscript soon 🙂

Nicky Griffiths


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